Shares of oil services company slid on Monday, as tumbling oil and natural gas prices point to tougher times for well drillers and other companies working with the petroleum industry.
Companies like Ensco PLC, National Oilwell Varco Inc. and Noble Corp. make money by mapping underground reservoirs, drilling wells, fixing equipment and providing a host of other services to oil and gas companies. Demand for those services has declined as prices fall and companies idle operations at some U.S. wells.
The price of benchmark U.S. crude has dropped by 23 percent since peaking in February above $109 per barrel. Prices fell this year on growing concerns of a European financial crisis that could reduce demand. On Monday afternoon the price of crude was down 30 cents at $83.73 a barrel.
Natural gas also has been on the decline this year, falling to a 10-year low in April, as a jump in domestic production and a relatively mild winter boosted supplies.